We're still a little way off the ICC T20 Men's T20 World Cup 2022. The first ball won't be bowled until October 15th, when Namibia take on Sri Lanka at the Geelong Cricket Ground. However, excitement is already starting to build; Inside Sport reports that the India vs. Pakistan match scheduled for October 23rd sold out some 60,000 tickets in under five minutes, hitting every previous cricket ticketing rush for six.

Given this mounting excitement, let's have a look at some of the runners and riders from among the 16 teams aiming to lift the trophy in Melbourne on November 13th.

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As both reigning champions and tournament hosts, the Aussies will start as favorites in the eyes of many. However, the 2021 T20 World Cup triumph may have actually masked some sketchy form prior. Australia had lost T20 series to England, India and the West Indies in the earlier part of the year, and were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Bangladesh as well. In other words, this team may be a favorite, but it hasn't been a juggernaut of late.

With recent recalls to the T20 16-man squad for Travis Head and Jhye Richardson, it looks like Australia will be using their tours this season to hone their final selections. And while it's obviously great news to have so many great players to pick from, there's something to be said for squad cohesion and running with the tightness of a county side too. We'll likely see who ends up comprising the final squad in a few months' time.

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After near misses in their last two World Cup outings –– in the final to the Windies in 2016 and in the semis to New Zealand in 2021 –– England will arrive down under with points to prove. Like Australia, England will be seeking to build their squad. Their stars, like skipper Eoin Morgan (who's hinted this will be his final bow), Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer, are more than a match for almost anyone over a single series. However, almost a month (they hope) of constant cricket takes a toll, and they'll need fringe players to step up.

Bowling has been a sticky wicket for England, and the selectors are keen to find solutions, with David Payne and George Garton called up for first caps on their January tour of the West Indies. That said, the outlook is still promising for this group. The cricket oddsmakers at Ladbrokes have weighed in early on the T20 World Cup and actually listed England as joint favorites with Australia, which may surprise some penciling the hosts in as the lone top-tier contenders. Time will tell if the English can piece together the right team and live up to the hype.


Currently priced a hair behind England and Australia in the odds listings, India shows promise as well. The nation's young players have impressed in recent years, to the point that the oddsmakers seem to believe Virat Kohl's step-in down as captain won't upset the apple cart too much.

Indeed, with Rahul Dravid's appointment as head coach for all formats and Rohit Sharma's installation as T20 captain, India's focus on hard-hitting batting doesn't look diminished in the least. Washington Sundar will be relishing a return to Australian soil as well, given it's where he became only the third ever Indian player to score a half-century on a Test debut there. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant will be looking to have a big tournament to silence some doubters.


With a tough group featuring India, South Africa and Bangladesh, Pakistan will feel like they have a point to prove. They won all five matches in the 2021 World Cup group, including over New Zealand, who went on to make the final (while Pakistan were knocked out by Australia in the semis). Babar Azam also finished as the top scorer in the tournament with 303 runs.

Pakistan haven't won the T20 World Cup since 2009, and 2022 may represent the last chance for 40-year-old Shoaib Malik, with 41-year-old Muhammad Hafeez having already announced his retirement last month. Much will come down to the tie against India; small wonder that tickets are in such huge demand.

New Zealand

Generally considered as fifth favorites by the oddsmakers, New Zealand have cause to feel that 2022 could be their tournament. After a heartbreaking loss to England in the 2016 semi-finals, they went one better in 2021, losing in the final to Australia. The Black Caps' consistency is built not on star power, but in strength in depth. All of their first six batsmen are important contributors, and Devon Conway's bizarre broken hand injury (self-inflicted by punching his own bat) that ruled him out of the 2021 final had a bigger impact than most teams would feel on losing a fourth hitter.

However, in recent years, the Australians have held a hoodoo over their Kiwi rivals –– even when New Zealand have been demonstrably the stronger side. The opening match of the Super 12 groups sees them go head-to-head. If New Zealand can win, expect their price to get far less generous.

There are other strong teams lurking as well. South Africa will always be a threat to anyone on their day. The West Indies are a young side, building toward their hosting of the tournament in 2024, but keep an eye on Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer for a glimpse of the future. Sri Lanka should dominate their group stage, and if they build up a head of steam, could take some Super 12 scalps.

It's going to be a great tournament.

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